Background: The scalp, an excellent donor site for thin skin grafts, presents a limited surface but is rich in keratinocyte stem cells. The purpose of this study was to double scalp harvesting in one procedure and to evaluate the capacity of the dermal layer to spontaneously reepithelialize from hair follicle stem cells.
Methods: Two layers of 0.2-mm split-thickness skin graft, a dermoepidermal graft and a dermal graft, were harvested from scalp during the same procedure. Fifteen burn patients were included in this study. Healing of the scalp donor site and percentage of graft taken were evaluated. The Vancouver Scar Scale was used at 3 months and 1 year. Histologic studies were performed at day 0 and 3 months on grafts, and on the scalp at day 28.
Results: Nine patients were treated on the limbs with meshed dermal graft. Six were treated on the hands with unmeshed dermal graft. Graft take was good for both types of grafts. The mean time for scalp healing was 9.3 days. Histologic study confirmed that the second layer was a dermal graft with numerous annexes and that, at 3 months, the dermis had normal thickness but with rarer and smaller epidermal crests than dermal graft. The difference between the mean Vancouver Scar Scale score of dermal graft and dermoepidermal graft was not significant.
Conclusion: The authors' study shows the efficacy of dermal graft from the scalp and good scalp healing.
CLINICAL QUESTION/LEVEL OF EVIDENCE: Therapeutic, II.